Exiting, Stage Left: Olympic Wrestlers, Soldiers in Afghanistan, and the Pope.

FIVE THôT columnist DEREK GORDON is a marketing and sales exec with more than 20 years success in integrated marketing and sales strategy and management. He is the Chief Marketing and Sales Officer for Pathbrite

.The Pope is going. So is Olympic wrestling. The President says 34,000 U.S. troops will exit Afghanistan by next January. And speaking of the President, has anyone heard anything from that guy who lost so spectacularly to him last November?

Exits are interesting phenomena. When done in full view of the public, they’re often messy. And exits almost always come with a familiar spin.

Typically: I’m going to spend more time with my family.

While I hope our brave and no doubt weary returning troops will do exactly that, I can’t imagine all those Olympic wrestlers are thinking “just what I was hoping for: more time with my family.”

Talking points out of the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland were deliberately vague following the secret ballot that removed the sport beginning in 2020.  Mark Adams, a spokesman for the I.O.C., said that “this is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics… In the view of the executive board, this was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It’s not a case of what’s wrong with wrestling, it is what’s right with the 25 core sports.”

Translation: wrestling gets terrible prime-time ratings. So all you wrestlers should spend more time with your families.

The Pope’s unexpected resignation from one of the world’s most powerful seats is the first of its kind in 600 years, so there’s little modern-day precedent for what comes next, much less standard talking points. 

The Pope shocked a gathering of Cardinals, who’d assembled to talk about the canonization of new saints, with his announcement. “I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise” of leading the world’s one billion Roman Catholics.

Translation: I’m too old, too frail and may be losing my mental faculties. So I’m going to spend more time with my family.

And while Mitt Romney may spending all the time in the world with his family nowadays, I’m sure he’d rather be doing it in the residence of the White House. In his concession speech on election night, he began with the familiar phrase “the people have spoken…”

Translation: I lost. Big time. And now I’m off to one of the three states I call home, all of which I lost to Barack Obama, to spend more time with my enormous family. Darn it.

Image courtesy of Martin Ezequiel Gardeazabal / Shutterstock.com
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